Thirty-seven different scholarly research topics were presented between 9-11:30 a.m. in various rooms of Markstein Hall On Friday. “This [competition] is a great opportunity for students. It really allows them to learn a lot more,” said Brittany McKelviey, Nursing student who watched a few research topics of the day,

The 10 students chosen to represent Cal State San Marcos on May 6-7 at the statewide competition at Fresno State University were announced around noon at the reception held in the Dome. Eight undergraduates, Michelle Calderwood (Psychology), Andrew Cooper (Biological Sciences), Anna Hood (Psychology), Ned Imming (Biochemistry), Samantha Lang (Biological Sciences), Eleuterio Limas (Psychology), Maria Isabel Rocha (Communication) and Dalizel Soto, (Kinesiology), along with two graduate finalists Marianne Klumph, (Psychology) and Gina Merchant (Psychology) were awarded a cash prize and paid travel accommodations for the May competition.

Finalist, Samantha Lang, who never thought she would even go to college let alone pursue a degree in science, spent over a year and a half researching her topic. “If you do the work you will get the results,” Lang said about the competition.

Another finalist, Anna Hood, said, “I’m very excited, and I’m looking forward to representing the university.” To anyone interested in competing next year, “find a faculty member who does research and contact him or her,” Hood continued. When asked about the competition, Gerardo González, Dean of Graduate Studies and Associate Vice President for Research, said, “being able to analyze data, do research and clearly present facts are important skills that most employers want to see, and this competition does bring all of those skills forward.” González hopes to see more arts and humanities based research topics in the coming years and future competitions. Ned Imming, who was one of the few who did an art based project, had mixed feelings towards his win. “I am extremely excited to be able to represent CSUSM, but I am feeling a little stressed that now I have an additional project to get done before I graduate at the end of the semester,” he said.

Undergraduate and graduate students from each of the 23 Cal State University campuses will compete and share their investigative projects not only to the public but also to juries of professional experts from major corporations and credible foundations.

Photo courtesy of Morgan Hall